Improv Socks

Make It Nifty-Improv Socks-TitleIf you follow me on instagram you would have seen these socks pop up earlier this month.


I’ve been meaning to knit a pair of sock ever since I bought both of Melissa Morgan-Oakes 2-at-a-time sock books. I wanted to make a pair of house socks but didn’t want to have to buy new yarn or needles. So after knitting the sample socks from both the books I decided that I would just wing it and knit these up on 4mm needles using some 8ply yarn I had in my stash.

I cast on some stitches to about the toe width I thought would work and just kept trying these socks on as I was knitting them; writing down the pattern as I stitched.

According to Ravelry I cast these on in ahem November last year, but I must have been inspired by Erin’s February Goal to knit socks, because not long after I read her post I dug this WIP out of the cupboard and tried to get them finished during our cold weather.

I finished these just in time as one my Brown Pippy Slippers got a hole not long after I finished these socks.

Make It Nifty-Improv Socks-Brown Slipper HoleI was tempted to darn my Pippy Slippers, but I’ve worn them a lot during the cooler months for the 3 years that I’ve had them. So they’re going in the rag bucket.

The Improv Socks are Ravelled here. I wrote out my pattern so I don’t forget it and I’ll have something to reference if I try to knit these again.


Improvised the pattern, using the Sample Socks from Toe-up 2-at-a-time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes as a guide.

Pattern Adjustments

  • Cast on more stitches for the toe
  • Knit more rows for each section of the socks
  • Made the sock legs very short

Make It Nifty-Improv Socks-SideMaterials

  • 8ply ‘soft’ acrylic yarn I had in my stash
  • 4mm 150cm cable needle from my stash


As I was knitting I tried these on to see how the toe fit. Then to see how many rows of knitting I needed for the foot. I stopped knitting the foot with the sock was where the top of my foot joined my leg (that makes sense right?).

I knit the gusset, turned the heel and then tried them on again to see how much ribbing I wanted for the leg.

Changes I made this time

Changes I made compared to the Sample Socks

  • Cast on more stitches at the toe
  • Increased the toe for more rows
  • Knit the foot for longer
  • Followed the instructions for the gusset and heel
  • Didn’t knit many rows of knitting for the legs

What I Like

  • Colour and composition of the yarn
  • I like the height of these socks.

What I don’t like

  • They are a bit loose, I think because of the needle size.
  • The opening is tight because I didn’t bind off loosely enough or use a proper stretchy bind off

Make It Nifty-Improv Socks-Toes UpChanges for next time

  • Go down a needle size to get a tighter fabric
  • Or knit with 2 8ply yarns held together
  • Use a much stretchier bind off


Pattern Improvised pattern based on a book $0.00
Materials About half a ball of 8ply ‘soft’ acrylic yarn  – stash $0.00
Notions 4mm 150cm cable needle – stash $0.00
Time I’d generously estimate 20 hours20 hours (* $17-ish Australian minimum wage) $340.00
Total   $340.00

So that is a lot for a pair of socks. But I was never going to find these in a shop and I really find knitting a combination of relaxing and challenging. I also just wanted to use this yarn up.

Final Comment

I’m already thinking about casting on my next foot accessory 🙂

Do you knit or crochet?
Have you made socks or slippers before – knit or sewn?
Do you have any tips for making your own socks or slippers

Until next time,